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THE HISTORY OF THE PROBLEM OF THE AUTHENTICITY OF THE SUMMA In the year 1931 The New Scholasticism (Vol. V, No. I) published an important article under the title La Somme théologique d'Alexandre de Halès est-elle authentique? It was signed by P. Mathieu-Maxime Gorce, O.P., who at that time was a member of the theological school of Saulchoir (Kain, Belgium). This same article was reprinted almost entirely in the book of the same author: L'essor de la pensée au Moyen Age, Paris 1933. However, this contribution in good part owes its origin to the famous P. Pierre Mandonnet, O.P., as the author himself admits. It carries on an historical inquiry into the problem and a demonstration which arrives at an outspoken negative result, as stands to reason. The edition or the Summa, at that time in progress at St. Bonaventure's College, Quaracchi (Florence), was seriously compromised by this article. It looked as if the editors should take a stand either in favor of the authenticity of the Summa and against Saulchoir, or vice versa. To the great displeasure of several they did neither, and their continued silence seemed to indicate complete agreement. The fourth volume of the Summa will soon appear. It will give Quaracchi's answer to the question posited by Fathers Gorce and Mandonnet; an answer, as is self-evident, which will not be much different but more differentiated and objective. In the Preface to the fourth volume is found the true history of the problem and an honest treatment of Gorce's article. It is this chapter which we are publishing here by way of a reprint and at the request of our friend, Fr. Philotheus Böehner, Director of the Franciscan Institute. WE divide the history of the 'problem of the Summa' into the following periods: 1245-1882: The authenticity of the Summa remains unquestioned. 1882-1902: The first of later additions are detected. 1902-1924: Other questions are proved spurious and doubt is gradually extended to the whole Summa. 1924-1930: Even the first three Books are no longer accepted as definitely the work of Alexander. 1931-1945: The authenticity of the whole work is expressly called into doubt at a time when a true solution of the problem is being sought for and even taking shape. I. The Authenticity of the Whole Summa Remains Unquestioned. The problem of the Summa arose only a few years ago. With the exception of Codices Vat. Borgh. 359 (Summa Theologica, Editio Quaracchi, Tom. I, p. XII), Vindebon. 1384 (Tom. II, p. XIII), and perhaps Taurin. D. III. 28 (as to Book IV),1 as well as the discordant voice of Roger Bacon, the complete tradition, 1. See note 27. 26 FR. VICTORIN DOUCET, O.F.M.27 both manuscript and historical, unanimously ascribes the work to Alexander of Hales. We have collected more than five hundred witnesses on this subject from edited and unedited works as well as from historians of literature and things Franciscan without having met any doubt to the contrary. Of a certainty, the problem of the Summa did not exist before the end of the XIXth century. Even during those famous and heated controversies of the XVIIth and XVIIIth centuries between the Franciscans Wadding2 and John de la Haye3 and the Dominicans Natalis Alexander,4 J. Echard5 and Fr. de Rubeis,6 the genuineness of the Summa was not questioned. The main subject of this controversy was the Summa Virtutum edited at Paris in 1509 under the name of Alexander. Following the editors7 of this Summa, Gerson,8 S. Brulefer9 and others,10 Wadding11 declared that the Summa Virtutum had been secretly stolen by St. Thomas. John de la Haye directed the same 2.Annales Minorum, III, ad an. 1245, nn. 24-29; new edition of Florence 1931, pp. 152-156. 3.R. P. Alexandri de Hales primi inter Minores doctoris dieti Irrefragabilis, Sanctorum Seraphici Bonaventurae et angelici Thomae praeceptoris, eruditissimi Commentarii, numquam impressi, in Apocalypsim S. Ioannis, Paris 1647, Introduct , cap. 11. 4.Dissertationes historical et criticae, Paris 1680. Dissert. 2": "Collatio Dominican ! cum Fr. Minore de titulo praeceptoris S. Thomae ex elogio...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1945-9718
Print ISSN
0080-5459
Pages
pp. 26-41
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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